THE Cinderella Kids of this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) produced a major upset last night when they defeated last year’s finalist the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the second semi-finals match of the tournament at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, San Fernando on Tuesday night.SCORES: Guyana Amazon Warriors 55 all out (13.4) versus the St. Lucia Zouks 56/0 (4.3) – Zouks won by 10 wickets and will now play the Trinbago Knight Riders in the final on Thursday. The TKR has earlier on Tuesday taken care of the Jamaica Tallawahs.Chasing just 56 runs for victory, the Zouks let loose the big hitter Rahkeem ‘Jimbo’ Cornwall and pocket dynamite Mark Deyal and they hammered the bowling to record the fastest completed chase in terms of balls to spare in an innings in the history of T20 franchise cricket.The chasing effort also tied for the 7th quickest chase in all Men’s T20 cricket. The Mumbai Indians used up only 5.3 overs to defeat the KKR in the very first season of IPL in 2008. Zouks did it six balls quicker. The previous fastest chase in CPL history was a target of 129 hunted down in just seven overs in 2017 by the Patriots.Cornwall finished with 32 not out off 17 balls with three sixes and two fours, while Deyal who had a brilliant all-round game scored 19 not out off 10 balls to add to his two wickets for two runs and a brilliant running catch to dismiss his cousin Nicolas Pooran. His effort landed the former TKR player the man of the match award.Earlier, inspirational skipper Daren Sammy won the toss and said: “After watching the first match and seeing rain possibly coming later on, ee want to restrict the Amazon Warriors to a low total and adjust our batting approach to the target.Well, this they did as Scott Kuggeliejn ripped out the heart of their top order with successive balls in the first over. He removed Brandon King and Shimroin Hetmyer shouldered arms and saw the lights. At that point, there was no turning back and by the fourth over the top four willow men in King, Hetmyer, Pooran, and Ross Taylor were back in the hut probably avoiding manager Omar Khan.All the Zouks bowlers were on their top game and the Warriors just failed to record the lowest ever CPL score of 52, which was made by the Red Steel back in 2013.A beaming Sammy speaking after the match said: “The way our boys have played, to the Zouks fans, they’ve been begging for something like that. I told the guys in the dressing room, this is not what we came here for. We didn’t come here to celebrate a semi-final. Nobody really gave us a chance. The guys we have, we have effective guys. We don’t have guys in the top 5 or 10 in runs but we play as a team. It’s a massive effort to get to the finals with the players we have. We wanted to win the toss and bowl first and we got that right. If you notice the games being played here at 5:30 pm, all the games with the team batting in the first innings in the day have not scored 100.I don’t know if it’s the dew falling on the wicket that makes it difficult batting first but I told Rawl Lewis I have a feeling we’ll restrict them under 100.But I did not foresee 55. Credit must go to Scott (Kuggeliejn). That over getting two of the main batters outset the tone. And then (Muhammad) Nabi getting Pooran, to me he’s been the best batter of the tournament and for Deyal to take that catch, that’s the kind of performances you want in a do-or-die game.”(Extracted from Trinidad Guardian
But it wasn’t always clear whether the Hockey Hall of Famer would even journey across the Atlantic to play on North American ice. A Moscow native, Zubov was a member of the vaunted Red Army prior to being drafted in the fifth round by the Rangers in 1990.2019 HHOF class: Carbonneau | Nedomansky | Wickenheiser | Rutherford | York | Brown | Hughson”I just think it’s much more commonplace now and they know that they’ll get the players,” Neil Smith, general manager of the New York Rangers from 1989 to 2000, told Sporting News. “It’s not a case of ‘if,’ it’s a case of ‘when.’ There was still an Iron Curtain when we drafted Sergei and Alex Kovalev and you’re taking a chance that you might never get the player.”Zubov had played 118 games with CSKA Moscow in Russia prior to being drafted by Smith. He would stay in Russia for another season (36 games), winning a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics with the Unified Team before finally deciding to head to the Big Apple.”He certainly had proven that he could play very, very well at that elite level in Russia so we knew the time was right to convert him over,” Smith said. “We thought he would be a good player when we drafted him and then watching him in tournaments and things the next few years, we knew that he was ready to play.”Boy, was he ever.Congratulations to #NYR Stanley Cup Champion and leading scorer in the 93-94 season, Sergei Zubov on your induction into the @HockeyHallFame ! #HHOF2019 pic.twitter.com/GV3fSglR9W— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) June 25, 2019John Davidson called Sergei Zubov today to tell him he was selected to the @HockeyHallFame …And in 1994, JD called this huge Zubov goal for the @NYRangers in the Stanley Cup Final. #NYR #HHOF2019 pic.twitter.com/q4TWvX5eT3— MSG Networks (@MSGNetworks) June 25, 2019In his first 49 NHL games Zubov scored 31 points, but it was in the Rangers’ Stanley Cup season the following year that Zubov broke out — leading the team in points and averaging more than a point per game with 89 (12 goals, 77 assists) in 78 games.”Sergei was more of a puck mover than a puck carrier,” Smith noted. “I think the instinct that he had, you either have or you don’t have, which is to see the ice the way he did. I think that he just saw everything very quickly and he could slow things down. Also, we used to say he had ice in his veins because he would take chances that you had to be very, very confident in yourself to do.”Smith did trade Zubov to Pittsburgh after the defenseman’s third year in the NHL. Following what the former Rangers GM called “a not very happy year in Pittsburgh,” Zubov found himself down south in Dallas. The fifth-year player was less than thrilled about his new assignment, according to Smith; in fact, it took some convincing before Zubov was fully on-board with the Stars and eventually, head coach Ken Hitchcock was able to win him over.”He had to get talked into it,” Smith said of Zubov’s move to Dallas. “I think the fact that Ken Hitchcock put a lot of confidence into him and gave him a big role on the team, probably really helped him.”Thank you Guy for teaching me what it took to win. And Zubie the most talented guy I’ve ever played with congrats to you both on the 2019 @HockeyHallFame induction.— Mike Modano (@9modano) June 25, 2019One of the best trades in Stars history, our next Defining Moment is the move that brought Sergei Zubov to Dallas. pic.twitter.com/L1zw8TEvVn— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 30, 2017Zubov went on to play more than 11 seasons with the Stars, including the 1998-99 Stanley Cup season where he scored 13 points — 12 of which were assists — in 23 postseason games.If you look at the stats — two Stanley Cups, 1,068 games played, third in Stars’ history for assists (438) and 16th in NHL history for assists by a defenseman (619) — Zubov should have been a shoo-in for the HHOF. So why, then, did it take him seven tries to crack the ballot?”There’s so many players that go into the mix every year that get talked about and you really have to have an advocate,” Smith explained. “I’m not sure who it was that was on that committee that advocated for him but you look at his numbers and also the playoff success that he had and that was really astounding.”I think probably one of the reasons why was because he never won the Norris Trophy and I think that when you’re thought of as an offensive defenseman and you don’t win the Norris Trophy, then your name doesn’t come to light quickly.” Where to begin on a player whose illustrious NHL career is only part of the story?Sergei Zubov entered the league by storm, leading the New York Rangers in points during the 1993-94 season and playing a key role in the team’s 1994 Stanley Cup championship — ending a 54-year drought. He would go on to hoist the Cup a second time with the Dallas Stars in 1999. MORE: Dallas Stars’ Winter Classic jerseys showcase tradition of Texas hockeyAlthough he never won the Norris, Zubov did receive votes in 12 out of the more than 15 seasons he played in the NHL with his highest finish in 2006 when he came in third. It probably didn’t help the smooth-skating defenseman that he played in the era of Ray Bourque, Al MacInnis, former teammate Brian Leetch, Chris Chelios and Nicklas Lidstrom (who won the award in 2006).Regardless of how he got there, he’s there now. His name is already etched on Stanley Cup bands and now his legacy will live forever in Toronto at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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